Latest Outdoor Ad Scourge: Illegal Signs on Plywood Walls

1020 Victoria Ave 3

A dozen years ago, a company called MetroLights put up hundreds of unpermitted advertising signs that mimicked the legal bus shelter and kiosk signs on public sidewalks. A few years later scofflaw companies named SkyTag, World Wide Rush, and Vanguard draped buildings all over the city with multi-story supergraphic signs. Now an unknown company is blighting the landscape with unpermitted advertising signs on plywood walls thrown up around businesses, churches, and other sites.

MetroLights, SkyTag, World Wide Rush, Vanguard and others sued the city to overturn its ban on new off-site signs, but ultimately lost those court challenges and had to remove their signs. Whether the company or companies responsible for the latest scourge of illegal signage will follow that path remains to be seen.2101 Lincoln Blvd

At first glance, signs like those in the photo above look identical to those on fences around construction sites all over the city. But Gary Shafner, an owner of the company that puts up the construction fence signs that are legally permitted under a 2007 ordinance, said that his company, National Promotions and Advertising, is not responsible for the unpermitted signs.

The ordinance requires city permits and strictly regulates sign size, placement, and duration. The signs can only be placed around construction sites and vacant lots.

Some of the illegal signs have been recently cited by the city. In the case of those around the church on Lincoln Blvd. in Venice, the signs were taken off the plywood fence after citations were issued, but new ones appeared a few weeks later.

Dennis Hathaway

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